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The Wage Price Index (WPI) has lifted to its highest level in more than ten years. That’s according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The index increased point-eight per cent in the March quarter of 2023, while annual pay growth rose 3.7 per cent over the year. It comes as Australia saw a low unemployment rate and tight labour market.

The sectors responded to the news, with financials, consumer and materials stocks leading the decline.

But not all materials stocks followed the trend. Voltaic Strategic Resources (VSR) rose 12 per cent after confirming the presence of a rare earths system at the Neo prospect, within its Paddy’s Well REE project in Western Australia.

Assays from its first two reverse blade drill holes at Neo revealed multiple, thick zones of rare earth element mineralisation in clay from surface. VSR was trading at 5.6 cents.

Toubani Resources (TRE) has unlocked a new structure less than one kilometre from its Kobada Main gold deposit in Southern Mali.

Drilling uncovered near-surface oxide gold mineralisation, returning hits including nine metres at 1.72 grams per tonne gold.  Shares in the company were up 13 per cent to 17 cents.

Arcadia Minerals (AM7) is a step closer to discovering a new lithium province in Africa.

The company uncovered mineralised brines and shallow clay bodies at the Bitterwasser lithium brine project in Namibia.  

Arcadia plans to begin sonic drilling operations before the end of August to test the average lithium grade of the brines to depth.  Company shares were trading at 20 cents.

Vulcan Energy Resources (VUL) shares dipped after releasing a project update.

The company has installed a crystalliser at its Lithium Extraction Optimisation Plant in Germany.

This represents the final step in the lithium extraction process to produce lithium chloride concentrate from renewable-heated brine.  The company was trading at $4.07.

Magnum Mining and Exploration (MGU) has welcomed the support of US Senator Joe Manchin in requesting appropriation for its Appalachian iron project in Nevada.   

The company’s shares rose nine per cent on the news, to 2.4 cents.

And in health care, Rhythm Biosciences’ (RHY) share price has more than doubled. The company secured regulatory approval for its colon cancer detection blood test in the UK.

With this certification in hand, Rhythm can market and sell its ColoSTAT test kit within the United Kingdom. The company’s shares soared 114 per cent, to 75 cents.

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